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VVIP helicopters deal row: CPI-M asks Govt. to clarify facts in Parliament

New Delhi, Wed, 25 Apr 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Apr 25 (ANI): Expressing concern over reports of corruption in the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters by India, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Basudev Acharya on Wednesday demanded that the government must clarify the facts in Parliament.

"We have to look into it, we don't know it fully yet. We shall look into what was in it, how the helicopters were purchased, was there any transparency or not. If there had been any corruption of money involved in the process then we would want the government to clear the air in the Parliament," he added.

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, echoing similar sentiments, said the ruling Congress Party is drowned deep in corruption.

"Today also the news has come of a kickback in the helicopter deal. This government has sunk into deep corruption. From 2G to Commonwealth to Adarsh, back to Bofors, and now to the helicopter deal. Wherever you see, you find a new muck," said Prasad.

"People of the country are really almost coming to a breaking point as far as the corruption level of the government is concerned. The BJP will be exposing this government inside and outside the parliament, because the corruption level has crossed all limits," he added.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony, however, today said he would pursue the inquiry into allegations of corruption in the purchase of VVIP helicopters, and get down to the bottom of the truth.

"I can assure you that I will seriously pursue the inquiry. Previously when the report came in, I had asked the Defence Secretary to make a note of that. After that he wrote to the Indian Ambassador to Italy and he got inputs," said Antony.

"Now, after seeing this report I can assure you that I will seriously pursue this inquiry. We will not tolerate any mischief, anywhere. I will take the strongest actions. So, I will seriously pursue this inquiry," he added.

Antony has directed his ministry officials to get a fresh report from the Indian Embassy in Rome following a media report alleging malpractices in the procurement of 12 helicopters for the VVIP Communication Squadrons of the Indian Air Force from Agusta Westland. (ANI)

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